Students who have studied, worked, and lived abroad receive a unique educational experience. There is much more to studying abroad than just taking classes in a foreign country. An experience abroad can open doors to new opportunities, new friends, and new career paths. And, it will give you a global perspective and cross-cultural competence which are crucial for success in today’s world.
Think you can't afford it? There are many resources both at the University of Michigan and at outside foundations to help you make studying abroad a possibility.
Center for Global and Intercultural Study (for UM-sponsored programs)
International Center: Study Abroad Office (for non-UM programs)
2013 Course Overview
ASIAN 296: Study Abroad in Dharamsala is a 2-credit Winter semester study abroad program that will take a small group of University of Michigan undergraduate students to India to experience and study Tibetan culture in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. The program is located in Dharamsala, India, where the Dalai Lama and a large community of Tibetans have settled since leaving Tibet in 1959. Students will be immersed in a rich intellectual environment while they learn about Tibetan culture and Buddhism through visits to important locations in and around Dharamsala, conversations with community members, lectures from local experts, and selected readings. Students will also have the opportunity to explore New Delhi and visit the city's major monuments, museums, and temples, as well as centers for Tibetan intellectual and cultural activities. This course is designed to promote rigorous intellectual engagement and learning outside the classroom.
Students take part in orientation sessions that meet twice a week from March 12 - April 11, 2013 and then travel to India from May 6 - May 20, 2013.
Program Itinerary and Requirements
Students will travel with their instructors from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to New Delhi on May 6, arriving on the evening of May 7. After spending one day and night in New Delhi, the group will travel by overnight bus to Dharamsala, arriving the morning of May 9. While in Dharamsala, students will stay in a guest house in McLeod Ganj, the center of the surrounding Tibetan community and home of the Dalai Lama in exile. Students will spend 9 days and 8 nights in Dharamsala, taking part in daily scheduled activities that will introduce them to a wide range of aspects of Tibetan culture and religion, including medicine and astrology, the arts, administration, education, monastic life, traditional foods, and local craft production. Two days will be spent on day trips to the nearby towns of Tsopema, to visit the sacred lake and caves, and Bir, to explore a refugee settlement and important location for Tibetan Buddhist activities in exile. On May 17, students will depart Dharamsala for New Delhi, where they will spend 2 days and 1 night exploring the city before their flight back to Detroit on the night of May 19. Students will arrive together at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport on the afternoon of May 20, from which they can make individual arrangements to travel home. The trip will span a total of 15 days, from Monday, May 6 to Monday, May 20, 2013. Students will be accompanied by an Instructor and GSI from the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.
The program is designed to promote a rigorous intellectual engagement with the surroundings and to introduce students to thinking about learning “in the field” and outside the classroom. While in Ann Arbor, students will be jointly enrolled in ASIAN 231: Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and in ASIAN 296.620: Study Abroad in Dharamsala.
ASIAN 296 is a 2-credit course that will meet for the second half of the winter semester. This important orientation will provide students with an introduction to Tibetan culture that will prepare them for the trip. The course will also include detailed health and safety seminars to prepare students for traveling in India. Students will be required to attend all meetings. During both components of the program, the short course in Ann Arbor and subsequent travel abroad, students will be required to complete relevant reading assignments. While in India, students will be asked to reflect upon their experiences throughout the program and to draw connections between those experiences and assigned readings and evening discussions. These reflections will take the form of a daily journal. Students will also complete a final creative project, in groups or individually, that will be presented to the group on the last day of the program. The individual focus of each project will be developed in conversation with the program instructors. Students will be graded as follows: Journal: 20%, Final creative project: 50%, Participation: 30%.
To enroll in ASIAN 296.620, students must be enrolled in ASIAN 231: Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism for Winter 2013 and complete an application available from either the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures website (www.lsa.umich.edu/asian) or from the program coordinator, Deborah Southern (firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications are due to Deborah Southern by December 20, 2012. Sixteen students will be invited on the trip. Final decisions on the participants will be made no later than Friday, January 18, 2013. Students approved for the trip will be given an override to enroll in ASIAN 296.620 at that time.
2013 Course Overview
ASIAN 257: Great Cities in Asia, taught typically within the Winter semester, provides a unique study abroad opportunity for its enrolled students to visit one of the metropolitan areas discussed during the term. In 2013, the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures in conjunction with the Center for Global and Intercultural Studies (CGIS) will be hosting a trip to Seoul, South Korea.
Students will be required to jointly enroll in ASIAN 257 and ASIAN 296.610: Study Abroad in Seoul. ASIAN 296 is the orientation and trip component of the Global Course Connections (GCC) travel abroad experience to Seoul. The students wishing to go to Seoul will need to complete an application process through CGIS to be considered for the trip. Students can learn more about the trip itinerary and the application process by going to the M-Compass website, clicking on "Getting Started," and searching for "CGIS: Global Course Connections (GCC) in Seoul, Korea." Applications are due by December 15, 2012. For more information on the application process contact Kate Lilly at email@example.com.
Both the course and trip component of ASIAN 296 will provide students with an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of a great Asian city, Seoul. In addition to being one of the most populous cities in the world, Seoul is also one of the world's most creative producers of innovative music, art, film, food, and dazzling consumer goods. A good example is the Seoul cultural icon, Psy. Despite the incredible popularity of his mega-hit song, "Gangnam Style," few outside of Korea recognize the importance of the culture, history, and society of Seoul in understanding Psy and his work. This course will try to help students make sense of Seoul and its cultural icons by focusing on issues such as industrialization, poverty, class, gender, alienation, globalization, cosmopolitanism, pollution and so on.
Classroom meetings will be held on the Ann Arbor campus beginning the week of March 12; the travel abroad to Seoul will take place from May 13-27, 2012.